How to End a Long Term Relationship Properly

Any type of relationship is filled with highs and lows, unfortunately, there comes a time when the love you used to feel with your long term partner is no longer present. This is completely normal and it doesn’t mean that you are the bad guy for ending it, but it can turn out that way if you do not handle it correctly.

Your partner’s reaction may astound you or it may be exactly what you thought would happen, either way, you need to know how to end a long term relationship properly so that both of you are able to get the closure you need to move on.

The breakup conversation is not an easy one, but if it is a long time coming and your mental health, as well as your physical health, has suffered due to being in this relationship, it is time to think of your future and bite the bullet.

Make Sure You Are Doing it For the Right Reasons

The breakup process is a tricky one, especially if you are the one to break up with someone as you have been mentally preparing yourself for a while now to do it, however, is it the right thing for you to do?

A Case of Miscommunication?

If you have had an argument with them about something mundane such as an issue with mutual friends or they are spending time too much at work or away from the house, then breaking up with them may not be the right choice, it could be a factor of communicating your own emotions more and opening-up so they can see why you are upset.

You could also look at changing up your routines and adding something new to the relationship that both of you can enjoy. A long term relationship can feel stale after a while if it is not worked on.

Serious Issues Are Developing

When unresolved problems and emotional distress persist, it can lead to mental health issues for both individuals involved. Recognizing the need to take care of your emotional well-being is crucial, and sometimes, ending the relationship becomes the necessary step to protect yourself and your partner from further harm.

One significant issue that can trigger such serious problems is the suspicion of infidelity. If you have strong reasons to believe that your partner is being unfaithful, seeking validation through hiring a private investigator (click here to find out more about hiring an investigator) can confirm or refute your suspicions. If the evidence provided by the PI confirms the betrayal, it can be emotionally devastating and difficult to repair the trust that has been broken. In such situations, attempting to reconcile may not always be the best solution, as the foundation of trust has been severely damaged.

How to End a Long Term Relationship and Not Look Back

That last part of the title is important, as people who have been in long term relationships can find it hard to stay friends with the person they used to be with and they may go back to them over and over again.

Some people might do this down the line when they are older and feel more mature and know how to finally handle a relationship, but that doesn’t work for everyone, and if mental health is a factor, then going back to them is a huge step back which can stunt the growth of both people.

Prepare Yourself

You have come to the decision, and know that this is the best course of action, now is the time to prepare what you are going to say and how you are going to say it. You will ideally talk to them openly and hold nothing back so they are aware of how you came to this decision, but, just because you are convinced it does not make it easy.

Accept How You Are Going To Feel

A lot of emotions are going to fly up at you. You are aware that relationships end and that people need to move on to a new chapter. Nonetheless, you spent a lot of time with this person and you put so much into the relationship, so you may feel insecure about taking this next step, however, you also may feel hope.

What is clear is that you won’t get out of this without feeling some sort of sadness about ending something you probably thought had a future.

Speak To Your Friends

Feel those feelings and spend time accepting them and channeling them into what you are going to say to your partner. You may have an intimate circle of friends that you can count on so run it by them first and see what they say, it could help you out.

Your close friends may have felt the same way when they ended a long term relationship, so their insight will be beneficial.

Decide What You Want to Say

Put everything down on paper first and then whittle it down to the salient points of what you need to say.

Don’t come out and say something like “our sex life started being awful and it frustrated me”, instead phrase it in ways such as “we stopped communicating properly and it affected us physically and emotionally which stopped us from being intimate, we couldn’t even discuss it”, this shows care and thought about their feelings too.

Think About How To Word It Effectively To Avoid Blame

If one of the issues was to do with their social life, you could say something similar to “you started to go out a lot and we barely did things together, it hurt and I felt like I wasn’t a factor in your life anymore, I then stopped trying too.”

It is best to avoid blaming one person for the issue, even if they started it, say what part you played too. However, if they did do something bad, then that needs to be said to your partner so they know that you are hurt. It can be one of the most difficult things to say out loud, so writing it down will help you be open and honest.

Give Them Some Time

They may feel blindsided by what you are saying and not know how to respond. You have just told them that your long term relationship is ending and you don’t want to be with them anymore, they may not respond appropriately in the moment, so you need to let them have some time to process it and respond.

Leave If They Get Angry

If they start to become aggressive and make threats or try and physically attack you, get up and leave as soon as you can and cut off any further contact so that you are not harassed. It may be wise to take some friends with you if you think this has the potential to happen so that you are protected.

Do Not Do It Over Text Messages

You need to speak to your partner face to face, don’t do it over the phone or in a text message, award them the courtesy of showing respect for your relationship, however, if they are the aggressive type, do it in a public place or with friends for your own safety.

Give Them Back Their Things

Living with someone can make it even more difficult as there are a lot more factors to consider. If it is their place then make sure you have somewhere to go with your stuff. If they live with you, give them time to get their stuff out and don’t hold onto anything of theirs, just let them take it as it can just cause more issues and you want a clean break.

Set Boundaries

They may try and talk to you again or not accept the fact that you ended things. When this happens it can make the break-up messier, so set clear boundaries and accept their pain, but do not give in. You decided to break this long term relationship for a reason. They are your ex partner now as you have said all you’ve needed to say.

Speak With a Mental Health Professional

After going through something so jarring and upsetting, you may want to speak to a therapist to discuss how you feel and how you can move on. Just because you broke up with someone doesn’t mean that you stopped loving them, you just knew that it was the right time to do it, and that is difficult for anyone to come to terms with.

A therapist can help you connect with your feelings and talk about what you are going through and what that may mean for you. Ending any close relationships is never easy but a long term relationship can feel like a death as you are grieving for what could have been.

Plus, if it was a toxic one, it can change you in different ways that may affect further relationships, so speaking to a therapist about how you feel can help you see any patterns that may have emerged.

Just know that you did what you could and this was the end result. Support after a breakup is needed, whether that is from friends, family, or a mental health professional. There is no shame in reaching out and talking it through.


Ending a long term relationship will be hard and it will come with a range of emotions from regret to days where you feel relieved. All that matters is that you did it for all the right reasons and you cared enough to make sure that what you said had thought behind it.

Don’t feel bad about breaking up with someone, it happens to us all at some point (more than once with many), grieve in your own way and stick to what you feel and know. As time goes on the pain will feel less and you will be able to try again.

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